“Rule your mind or it will rule you.” ~ Buddha
Life gets a little crazy sometimes. I often feel like I am being pulled in many different directions, and it is difficult to find balance. This blog is about horses, but that is not the only thing I have going on in my life. I have a job, for one. I am a real estate agent, and while I am able to set my own schedule (for the most part), it still gets very hectic. Truthfully, I do not really have a routine. Every day is different, and I really cannot plan ahead. I get appointments at the last minute, like yesterday, and I sometimes work late into the evening and on weekends. In some ways, my lack of routine is nice – I am never bored! In others, it is really difficult. It is difficult to keep up with all of my commitments when I can’t really plan out my days. I always manage somehow, but it gets overwhelming at times. As I said in my previous post, riding has always been a priority for me so I make time for it. During busy work weeks, I typically do not have a free second! When I get a break from work, I ride. I have always had a pretty crazy schedule, and over the years I have learned ways to stay balanced.
Running has always helped! Not only does it help me to stay fit, but it is a great stress relief. It provides an escape. Also, this year I have begun running longer distances – up to ten miles – in preparation for a race I ran last month. Longer distances really challenge me mentally. I feel that the mental challenge has greatly helped my riding. Learning to push through the last few miles even when I am tired and my legs feel like they are about to fall off, has helped me to be able to push through rides when Chance is wild or not wanting to listen – without getting frustrated. Also, running for over an hour is a nice break from life. It sounds strange, I know, but long runs are actually quite peaceful to me. They give me time to think, and time outside enjoying nature. And races are just plain fun! The race I have been training for was in Disney World, called the Tower of Terror Ten Miler. It was at ten o-clock at night, and so much fun!
Another thing I do to stay balanced is practice yoga. I have consistently practiced for two years now, and it has made a huge difference in my body and mind. I have fewer aches and pains, and it keeps me strong for riding and running. It also relaxes me! I can be totally stressed and in a terrible mood, then practice yoga for thirty minutes to an hour and feel so much better. I can completely escape from worry. It is like magic.
Other things I do to deal with stress are take my dog, Khloe, on long walks; read; write; meditate; cook; and I try to take time every week to do nothing! Staying balanced is essential to being a good rider or trainer. I definitely feel that my riding is affected when I am overwhelmed. I do not think as clearly, and I do not react well to problems; I get frustrated easily. So, if you have similar problems, it may not be your riding – it may simply be a lack of balance in your daily life. Try going for a run or walk, get a yoga video, or get lost in a good book! Do what you need to do to relax and find balance, your horse will thank you 😉